23rd Jun2009

whychoo hate for HATE’S SAKE!?

by jerad.formby

this is not a flame war

It appears that I have gotten a little tired and a little fed up with Star Trek fans who hate the new movie.

I’ve seen websites devoted to ripping on it. I’ve seen friend groups who proudly tote themselves as new movie haters who not only sneer this new Star Trek, but call out other Star Trek fans who do like it.

I’ve made arguments that a lot of their obsession is simply a difference in details. A lot of them seem to think that if the details aren’t there then it’s not really Star Trek.

this is how you haters actually sound to we who are informed

I’ve decided to not argue this week and have written all of you a piece of fiction that details a story with the new Captain Kirk and his new Enterprise and I’ve decided to address my arguments there. Perhaps by example, others will ease back on their phasers and understand that the new movie is as Star Trek as Voyager’s “Year in Hell” was or “Yesterday’s Enterprise” or any of these alternate universes that seem to get many-a-nerd’s pheromones firing so hot and heavy. Possibly even more so.

So fly with me on the Enterprise 1701, a Starship in something called Starfleet which works for something called the Federation. No matter the universe. We pick up on a youthful Captain Kirk who notices that a personal log is demanding his attention to play it back.

how can anybody be against this sort of imagery

Captain’s Personal Log: Stardate 2259.33

If you’re listening to this, know that I am Captain Kirk. That I have always been Captain James T. Kirk and that I made a choice for the both of us. Because you’re me, I know you’ll understand why. And also because you’re me . . . I also know that you don’t like being left out of the loop.

So consider yourself “in the loop,” Captain.

There is something peculiar about me. After defeating Nero and being warped to the captain’s chair, I didn’t think too much about this condition. And truthfully, I only became more aware of it recently.

“Destiny” is the way Spock explained my captaincy to me. Of course you know which Spock I mean. But when I think about what we talked about, I don’t remember him using that word.

But I know he did.

I first noticed how strange I felt in my own skin when I was contacted by the Republic to admit Admiral Pike onboard. He’s always treated me as an equal or as my adoring mentor –its been that way since he picked me up in Iowa. Hell, that’s why I skyrocketed to first officer when the Enterprise was peppered with lots of cadets.

But I also know he never came to Iowa.

He’s lost the use of his legs because of the Romulan Nero. For the same reason I was promoted. I try not to let that bother me, but something about it doesn’t feel right, yet it does.

When the Enterprise was ordered to Rigel 7, Admiral Pike took command of the Enterprise. That’s just protocol. Once we’d established orbit, I could see Chris Pike regret that he was incapable of leading a landing party. If he were on his feet, he’d have pulled rank to go down there. I would have given him hell about it, but I would have let him lead it anyway.

Or would I have? Something about Rigel 7 didn’t sit right in my belly. Call it a Captain’s instinct but I knew there was no way Admiral Pike should set foot –or wheel on that planet.

yeah im rockin the unremastered planet

On paper, the mission seemed fairly simple. A routine inspection of an Independent Outpost there. They were experimenting with a new form of reactor. Supposedly five times more efficient that what powers most Federation space stations. Other than this odd bit of science, the planet is unremarkable in the Federation data banks.

The Rigelians have knives, swords, medieval armor, and warp capability. There was no reason to believe that anybody down there wanted to stir up trouble with the Federation.

“Mr. Kirk,” he said. “Put together your landing party.”

I snapped my fingers and took a few of my bridge crew. Mr. Spock, Sulu, and Chekov.

“Won’t you need an engineer?” Admiral Pike asked.

“I’m confident Mr. Spock and Mr. Chekov can determine whether or not this reactor we’ve come to examine falls within the Federation’s goals.” I smiled at him. “Besides, Mr. Scott is having more fun going over the technical schematics of the ship.”

“Fun, huh?” The Admiral said with a smirk. “Where did you get the idea that having Starship responsibilities is fun?”

Before I could emit an appropriate jibe back at him, I had an unusual thought. I wanted to console Admiral Pike. Not because of his disability, but because of something I had witnessed. Something I didn’t remember, but could. Like Iowa. It wasn’t your fault, Chris. It wasn’t your fault. The voice in my mind wasn’t my own.

“What about a Yeoman to log your interaction with the outpost’s adminstrator?” He said and that snapped me back to attention.

“Admiral,” I said quietly, having not yet determined if this chat had become official in Chris’s eyes. “I don’t expect to be down there for more than fifteen minutes. I’ll be able to shorthand my observations when I get back.”

“You won’t need security? Or a good nurse?”

What was it with this conversation? Admiral Pike was either undermining all of my choices as a Captain or he was trying to build the landing party he would take. The second thought quelled me a little and I suddenly wished he could lead the landing party.

“Chris,” I said with a smile and patted him on the shoulder. “It’s alright, I’m out of the nest. You don’t have to think of me as completely untried.”

Mr. Spock suggested in the turbolift that we stop by the armory and I dismissed the thought. This stop at Rigel 7 was little more than routine after all. But I stopped myself as we approached the transporter room.

“On second thought,” I said in a voice that didn’t even seem like my own, “perhaps precaution is better. Mr. Sulu, see to it.”

“Aye sir,” Sulu said and double-timed it back toward the armory.

“Are you feeling alright?” Spock asked me.

“I’m fine, Spock,” I teased him. “How are you feeling?”

“If you’re referring to my physical condition, I assure you that Dr. McCoy has me recorded as having pitch perfect health.”

“Really, Spock?” I prodded. “And how long ago was that physical?”

“Six days, nine hours, and 26 minutes.”

“Well I’d try and see Doctor McCoy every five days, four hours, and three minutes, if I were you.”

“You’re making a joke.”

“Don’t make me order you,” I winked.

Sulu returned with a phaser for each of my team.

Stepping onto the pad, I asked Sulu, “You brought the sword, right?”

“Aye,” Sulu said in his professional demeanor.

It occurred to me before we energized that Christopher Pike was trying to make the landing party bigger. I could hear numbers in my head.

3 dead, 7 others injured. And a dead yeoman.

But where were the numbers coming from? More than instinct. More than a gut feeling. There was a voice somewhere in my mind giving me those specific numbers and I knew whose voice it was.

He had materialized right next to me. I looked to Spock, but he was already scanning with his tricorder.

There was that feeling again. Like I wasn’t myself.

whats hey star trek without the pics

Gran’sha was obviously Rigelian. Hard to look past the armor and the sword. His cape denoted an official capacity. He was posing as the outpost’s secretary. But how did I know he was an imposter?

“Captain Kirk, I presume.”

“That’s right,” I said and the four of us approached him.

“We are not ready for this inspection, I signaled your Starfleet Command and told them as much.”

“I know you did, but we were already en route. We’re mostly here for the scenery.”

“There’s better scenery on Rigel Ten,” Gran’sha balked. I knew he was referring to the infamous cities there and the butterfly-tongued girls who frequented its nighttime scenery.

I smiled at the joke, but he could see that I was humoring him.

“If you would be so kind,” Spock prompted the man.

“I can’t lead you into the reactor proper, Captain. We’ve just vented its exhaust. If you really want to see the reactor, it could very well have to wait until morning.”

I knew he was lying. This man was a criminal. It was impossible for me to know that, yet I did. He was slave trading. His next profit was to be the outpost’s female administrator. More insight flowed from some other part of my mind and informed what I said next.

“Or tomorrow night,” I offered with a shrug.

“That actually would be preferable,” Gren’shal smiled.

“Spock,” I said without having to give an order.

My Vulcan first officer raised his tricorder, just as he had done before. For another Captain.
Like he had for Christopher Pike.

“If you submit your scans,” Gran’sha began.

“If we submit our scans to the Federation and discover you’ve been lying to us, you’ll be dealt with accordingly. The reactor hasn’t just been vented, as Mr. Spock will confirm.”

This wasn’t a bluff. I wasn’t guessing.

Spock nodded his confirmation.

“You don’t want us going in there because you’re holding somebody prisoner,” I suddenly said. My gut instinct had a mind of its own it seemed.

The flow of words that came from my mouth seemed to be fifty percent my confidence and fifty percent my recounting of memories I shouldn’t have. Spock looked at me quizzically.

Sulu was doing his best impression of Spock.

Chekov held his ground.

“It’s the station administrator, isn’t it?” I said and narrowed my eyes at him. I didn’t know anything about the culture of Rigel 7 other than it played like a Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, but for some reason I could see horrible things in my mind. That instinct, that voice was putting pictures to these thoughts. I could see flashes of horrifying abuses. Everyone involved in this incident would deserve worse then Federation could ever provide.

“If you bring her out right now and she is unharmed, I’ll make sure you only do life in a Federation Penal Colony.”

“And if she is harmed?” He spoke with the confidence of someone who had read the last page of a mystery.

“Then I’ll find you justice outside of the Federation Court system.”

“Captain–” Chekov spoke up.

“As you were, Mister,” I said and drew my phaser. I knew I had to be the first to draw. I had to make the first move.

In my mind, I could see the blood of the woman. I could see the crime completely laid out. She had been executed. She was one of the three who died.

She was killed when Pike refused to negotiate.

Upon that realization, I dropped my phaser to the ground and put my hands up to surrender.

“Surrender, all of you,” I ordered my team. My mind shook between the instinct to tear Gran’shal in half with my bare hands and the memory of Pike’s capture.

Spock placed his tricorder on the ground along with his phaser. His hands went up instantly.

The others obeyed. Chekov put his hands behind his head.

Six other men came out from the nearby rocks. Each of them was dressed in suits of armor and had long swords at their sides.

“How long until you are overdue and we can expect others?”

“Five minutes,” I said matter-of-factly. “In fact, we’ve spent so much time discussing a merciless punishment for you that they might be on their way.”

“Unfortunate for all of you,” Gren’shal said. “Especially her.”

Especially her. I’d heard the words before. Spock had heard the words before.

“Let me contact my ship,” I spoke quickly. “I can buy you some time.”

“Time for what?” Gren’shal said sheepishly.

“Time for you to meet up with those Orion slave traders. Isn’t that your plan? Aren’t they going to be here tomorrow?”

I could feel Sulu and Spock staring into my back.

“How did you–”

“The Federation obviously has resources that you and your gangster friends have underestimated, isn’t that right, Spock?”

I could sense his hesitation. I hoped in that moment that he would opt to support this statement and not undermine it with the truth. At the same time, I knew he was capable of exaggeration, even though I had never witnessed it with my own eyes. The only truth he could see was I somehow had information he did not.

I realized I should have thrown the lie to Chekov or Sulu. Sulu probably would have been more convincing.

“He speaks the truth,” Spock said from behind me.

“Federation Intelligence is not that good. All of this was coordinated without a single transmission!” Gran’shal scoffed.

“The Federation resources of which Captain Kirk speaks are . . . incomprehensible.”

“You’re lying!”

“I am Vulcan, I cannot tell a lie.”

With my voice, I brought the focus back to me. “I’ll tell you what else we know. We know that there eight of you, all male The Orion ship that’s coming tomorrow has a compliment of four. It was expected here tomorrow morning, but they had a problem with their dilithium chamber and have amended their flight schedule to be here tomorrow afternoon.”

Gren’shal frowned as I spoke the truth.

“Am I warm?”

Gren’shal pointed at the communicator at my feet. “Contact your ship. Buy me time, as you say. Buy her time to stay alive!”

I crouched slowly and scooped up the communicator. I flipped it open and it dialed the Enterprise.

“Kirk to Enterprise.”

“Go ahead,” Uhura said.

“It seems we can’t inspect the reactor,” I spoke with ease. “They’ve vented the reactor and they have forgotten that the administrator was inside.”

“Do you want us to–”

“Kirk out.”

I slammed the communicator shut.

Gren’shal charged me.

I punched him across the jaw with my fist still closed around the communicator. He hit the ground quickly. I looked to my left to see Sulu had gotten his sword out and was in the midst of fighting two of the henchmen.

Spock fought with his fists clasped together.

Chekov had his phaser up and shot blue stun bolts at two of them.

The communicator chirped in my hand. The ship was trying to reach me.

Gren’shall was on his feet again. I grabbed him and slammed him to the ground My knee went into his back and I pinned him.

“Call your men off!” I shouted down at him. His hesitation only inflamed my rage and put more pressure into his back.

Spock nerve pinched one of them and as his hands were free, I tossed him my communicator. He caught it. It had Gren’shal’s blood on it.

Spock answered the call. “Spock here.”

As I had both hands at my disposal now, I boxed Gren’shal’s ears from behind and went for his arms.

“Captain,” Chekov said. “He’s not conscious.”

I breathed out and assessed the situation around me. Sulu, Chekov, and Spock had defeated their opponents. I hadn’t even realized I’d defeated mine.

“Did they get her?” I panted up at Spock.

Spock nodded.

“Is she alright!?” I shouted over the imagery that still burned through my mind.

“She is unharmed,” Spock said flatly.

I stood up. I could feel my legs wobble as I rubbed my nose. I pointed at the seven bodies around. “I want all of these guys. They’re going to the brig.” As I caught my breath, I added, “and there’s two more inside the outpost. Get security down here to round them up.”

“How do you know that?” Sulu asked.

“You wouldn’t believe me.”

“I assumed it was Federation Intelligence,” Chekov blinked.

“There is no Intelligence to support what the captain is saying,” Spock interjected. “But I have every reason to believe him.”

Back aboard the Enterprise, I was relieved to find the administrator was alive and well. Dr. McCoy assured me she had not been violated by her captors.

“Jim, just what the hell went on down there? People think you might be psychic,” Bones said with his arms folded.

I just smiled at him and ducked out.

A dead yeoman. Three Dead. Seven injured.

It had been enough for Pike to lose his confidence in command.

Now the tables had turned. The situation had ended with no loss of life. I knew it didn’t make me a better captain, just a more informed one.

is star trek still star trek

Spock was waiting for me outside of sickbay.

“Captain?” Spock prompted.

“Gonna call me unfit for duty?” I grinned at him. “Can’t you think of your own way to meet your command aspirations?” Spock still seemed confused. I was starting to tell the facial ticks he’d allow when something disconcerted him.

“What am I talking about?” I laughed and pointed at him. “That was your idea to begin with.”

“With all due respect, Captain, I have no idea what you are referring to.”

“Spock. I knew there were eight hostiles plus Gren’shal, the ring leader. I knew about the Orions. I knew because you knew.” I approached him and to be honest, I didn’t know how far to take the conversation. “I know all sorts of vague things. What does it mean, Gary Mitchell must die? Who is Edith Keeler and why must she die, Spock? Why do,” I stopped myself. “Why do I die alone?”

“I am at a loss, Captain.”

“You know what? I know how you die.”

“If you are referring to my own future self, that is not possible. He was alive to meet you.”

“Only because I risk everything to resurrect you.”

“That,” I could almost see a full on grin around his lips. “Is quite impossible.”

“Is it, Spock?” I asked quietly. “Right now, we are in orbit of Rigel 7. I’ve never been to Rigel 7 before. In fact I don’t believe I was ever here later, not even when I’m older, a little heavier and I wear glasses, Spock. I’m pretty certain that Kirk. He’d never been to Rigel 7. This was Christopher Pike’s mission.”

“Who is disabled now because of Nero.”

“And unable to assume command of the mission. But the mission still exists! The Enterprise still has to go to Rigel 7. That hasn’t changed. You were Pike’s science officer.“

“The mind meld with my other self.”

“Exactly.”

“But our destinies have changed, we’re on a different path.”

“I have no reason to truly believe that, Spock,” I said softly. “It works logically, but if you look past logic, how do you explain the similarities? Chekov. Sulu. This other Kirk knew them. Uhura. Of course he actually knew her first name. But. Captain of the Enterprise? Me? Two nearly identical universes? Am I really to believe that similar orders will not come down the mountain?”

Spock thought about this. “There is a logic to your argument.”

“Similar destinations. Similar circumstances. People. Choices that will have to be made by me.

“Fascinating. This knowledge of the alternate timeline could prove an invaluable resource.”

“I just used it here. I used your memory of this incident on Rigel 7. And I changed the outcome.”

“Indeed,” Spock offered. “Of course, the possibility exists that this universe could have been just different enough to make your knowledge useless. Perhaps ten men instead of eight.”

“But what are the odds of that actually being true?”

“Mathematically speaking—“

I pinched my eyes with my fingertips, “Spock, I was speaking rhetorically.”

Spock fell silent and waited for me to speak again.

“Spock,” I said with a swallow. “I don’t want to know how many men there are. Even if I’m wrong. If this universe is somehow just different enough, and there’s ten guys in there and not eight, I don’t want to know. Because that has me living with these strange insights from nearly identical circumstances that may or may not have been effected by the blood lust of one angry Romulan.”

Spock weighed every word against all of his training and our budding friendship. This friendship was even effected by these trace names, numbers, facts. I knew about his pet on Vulcan even though he himself had never mentioned it to me . . . yet.

“David,” I said after a beat. “George and Gracie. These are just names to me right now, but Spock . . . if this continues, if I encounter a, a Cyrano Jones, I have to meet him myself and not with this prejudice.”

“Even if it means today this knowledge saved a woman’s life?” Spock had a way of forcing me to consider possibilities. That’s why I liked him. Not because of residual trace memories of another life. This choice was something that was genuine. This was my universe.

“Spock. You said it yourself. It might have been ten and not eight. I need to make these decisions with the information at hand and not compare it to an echo from another universe.”

He knew what I was asking for.

“It is possible for me to extract information from your memory,” Spock suggested.

“I know it is. You’ve done it before.”

“The procedure is not advisable and can be very dangerous,” even with words devoid of passion, his description sounded grave.

“I trust you, Spock,” I told him. “No matter which universe.”

That takes me back to you. You. Jim Kirk. I’ve marked that you read this as urgent. That you listen and you know the choice I made for the good of us. I decided to have Spock remove the memories of this alternate timeline. I have no idea if those memories were deliberately implanted by the elder Spock or if they were the side-effect of a very old man making a desperate choice with a dangerous consequence.

And as I’ve already stated, there really is or was a way of knowing the accuracy of the information.

Whatever the case may be, I urge you to erase this log. In my telling, I got a little over zealous and mentioned names to you. I submit to you that just knowing these names could jeopardize any mission you lead the Enterprise into.

That door chime you just heard is Spock. He has asked me to set aside three hours for this procedure. He might be hinting at his inexperience with these matters or maybe it really does take that long to sniper memories from my mind.

He’s assured me that you won’t know the difference unless someone tells you. He has promised to never tell you.

I never promised not to.

Kirk out.

i totally assume a story like this is possible cause prime spock did not do the ritual hasty mind meld brings hasty damages

yeah sweet board game for motion picture lovers like me


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A little more information about your Hey Star Trek! blogger
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A Brief History of Fan Work and Tim Russ’ Of Gods and Men
What the hell do you mean Episode III’s the best one!?
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Hey! You hated Abrams Trek? Color me unsurprised.
What you show somebody who doesn’t know Star Trek at all
Nerd-Nut-Nods in New Star Trek Movie
Why you don’t need IMAX Star Trek
Star Trek: The Motion Picture
The real reason New Star Wars movies suck
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The new Doctor Who . . . or lack thereof!
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Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse
How the Borg went from badass to blowing chunks
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Ronald D. Moore’s Battlestar Galactica
Why Watchmen’s So Bad
Star Trek Optimism
Ugly Romulans and Vulcans

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  • http://www.twitter.comSmittmaestro Smitty™

    Oh that’s good!

    You oughta write it up and submit it Pocket Books if they ever do another short story collection ala Strange New Worlds…

    -cs™

  • Dale Hoppert

    That was a terrific story and an intrguing idea that hadn’t even occurred to me… that young Kirk might’ve picked up too much information in the meld with Spock Prime. Great work!

  • David West

    Nice point by using the story. Just think of other things he could have picked up by accident:

    What is going to happen to Gary Mitchell.

    What McCoy does to disrupt time via Edith Keeler.

    Not have to worry if confronted with any of the ‘monsters’ encountered by the Enterprise, as he knows how to defeat them without losing any lives.

    Knowing the quadrotriticale is poisoned right off the bat, saving a load of tribbles in the process.

    Okay, that last one he might not want to reveal until after the tribbles are dead, but still…

  • Aria Mia

    Another fabulous blog! You brought up some great points…as always! I agree that you need to write something for Strange New Worlds!

  • Raul4510

    Great story! BRAVO! I can see that mind meld playing a role in future Star Trek films. Jared you are AWESOME! Your blog is the highlight of my day!

  • http://apizzagirl.blogspot.com PizzaGirl

    A few questions from a non-expert 🙂

    Did the Rigelians actually have a better reactor?
    Do we ever find out?
    If they did what happened to it?
    If they didn’t what started the rumor in the first place and does it have anything to do with the slave trading?
    Did they know the Enterprise was going to investigate or was this a surprise?

  • http://twitter.com/super_spock jerad.formby

    @PizzaGirl

    I didn’t include more of the reactor because I didn’t feel it was relevant to the story I was telling. However I did leave the Enterprise in orbit of Rigel 7 to not pre-clude it from continuing that mission.

    There is nothing established in the Star Trek canon to suggest a supreme power source was ever developed on Rigel 7. However, this sort of plot device did occur on the Original Series –new planet, new power, Enterprise arrives, things go horribly wrong. I wanted to be very old school.

    They did know the Enterprise was due to arrive and tried to contact Starfleet to postpone the visit.

    I hope this was helpful 🙂

  • George

    Just for the record, this is not my Trek. But the explanation is simple. TNG & VoY firmly established the infinite universe concept. Thus, Nero and Spock not only fell back in time, but crossed into a different universe that was a little bit different (Ala details in ship design etc) and the time cops (ENT and VoY) never existed to put things right again. Yes, this is not my Trek. However, my kids don’t know Shatner and the others and they loved the movie. So I am thankful that they will have Trek as I did for the next 40 years! Trek Lives! Live long and prosper.

  • http://www.ussgenesis.ning.com Mark

    Great job mate!
    An alternate universe Star Trek time line with uncountable scenarios available for the creative mind, such as your own.
    You’re an inspiration to fans like myself.
    Please continue this artistic talent.
    Look forward to many more.

  • http://www.twitter.com/Smittmaestro Smitty™

    Again let me say well done!

    Also when is Pocket Books getting going with new movie era stories.

    Give us some novels to fill the 2 year gap!

    -cs™

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  • VegasAndorian

    The ending mind wipe is inevitable in your story, but regrettable. What if the memories from elder Spock are incomplete? What if Kirk the Younger knows Edith Keeler must die, but has no idea when he’ll encounter her, until he and Spock actually meet her. What if he finds the poisoned wheat on K7 immediately, but that complicates things instead of simplifying them? And most of all, what if some asshat figures out that Jim Kirk knows certain future events, and decides to ruthlessly exploit that knowledge.

    As usual J-rad, your ramifications are endless.

  • Michael Magnes

    That might be a good beginning to a sequel. And later you can have Kirk’s decision affect the story greatly.

  • Michael Magnes

    That might be a good beginning to a sequel. And later you can have Kirk’s decision affect the story greatly.

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